I remember the first time I “met” Kim Harms.
I’d read her posts on Inspire a Fire and was an instant fan. So when she left a comment on one of my Inspire posts, I was tickled pink, and truly touched. Her words came at a crucial point in my writing life. Kim didn’t know this, but God did. Over the years, our friendship has grown, as has my respect.
Welcome to the Tiny House on the Hill.
By: Kim Harms
I had two years of elementary education classes behind me the first time I stepped foot in an actual elementary classroom with real children. It took me all of 30 seconds to realize that teaching kids was not for me.
Seeking direction, I took an aptitude and interest survey at a local business college. When a school counselor sat down with me to go over the results, she said these words. “I have never said this to anyone who’s taken this survey before, but you don’t belong at our school.”
A Turning Point
Those words were a turning point in my life. Knowing that I wasn’t suited for teaching or for business, I took some time to consider what I was passionate about.
Words. Words are my passion. I read three books at a time, and I have boxes of journals dating back to fourth grade. I wrote for my high school newspaper. I was on the yearbook staff. My first poem was published when I was fourteen. But I had never before considered trying to turn my passion into a career. Until now.
I stayed at ISU and changed my major to English: Literary Studies (basically a creative writing degree) and I started taking journalism classes as well. I loved it. I found the little corner of the world that I was made for. I allowed myself to dream about writing for newspapers and magazines. And someday, the dream of all dreams, maybe I’d even write a book.
I did become a newspaper reporter, and I found some success writing for magazines too, but the book thing was elusive for a long time. I didn’t try to push it. I didn’t even know what I would write a book about, but the dream always remained.
Praying for Direction
In 2015, I started praying that God would give me a clear direction for my writing, whether that was as a reporter or an author or both. For a whole year, I prayed.
And then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Prayers for direction ceased as I started praying for my life. Lord, will I live to see my boys graduate? Who will find all the missing earbuds if I’m gone? Who will scratch the boy’s backs at bedtime? Who will make cookie dough for family movie night? A barrage of heavy thoughts weighed me down at first, but I made it to the other side cancer-free.
I had both of my breasts removed and walked the bizarre world of breast reconstruction. I dealt with the physical, emotional and psychological toll that it all took on me.
It was a very very hard thing, but God never promised me a life of ease.
I also found that direction I’d been praying for. I recently signed a contract with Familius Publishing for my first book, tentatively titled Life Reconstructed: A Girlfriend’s Guide to Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction. A book that wouldn’t have happened without a cancer detour.
The Gift of a Tiny House
And that brings me to my tiny house.
One year to the day after receiving a cancer diagnosis, God gave me the keys to an amazing (albeit, seriously in the need of updating) house on 1.5 wooded acres smack-dab in the middle of our little town. (You can read that story here).
I’d have been content with the woods and the house, but it came with a bonus.
A tiny cabin nestled in the trees by a ravine. The interior was unfinished, and I figured it would probably stay that way for a long while. But my hubby loves me so much that he made it one of our first projects. In his free time, he insulated it, added a propane heater, installed flooring, and paneled the walls. And I adore it because tiny houses are just the cutest thing. But I adore it even more because Corey finished it for me specifically so I would have a quiet writing space.
Prior to the cabin, I didn’t have a dedicated place to write. My book proposal came together at my kitchen table, on my couch, and at a booth in Panera. Those places are okay, and sometimes I still head to Panera because their cranberry orange muffins are amazing. But this cabin? Wow.
Right now, I’m sitting at a little table surrounded by trees and a meandering creek. It’s a gift. An amazingly wonderful gift. I don’t deserve it. I did nothing to earn it. God in his loving-kindness blessed my family with a property that includes a tiny cabin. And my hubby, in his loving-kindness blessed me by transforming it into a writing retreat.
God is good. And he gave me a good man.
I have a lot of writing to get done at this little table. My first draft is due in January. It’s equally exhilarating and terrifying to think of all that needs to happen to get this book from my brain to someone’s nightstand. But when I’m overwhelmed by this monster task, all I have to do is look out my tiny house window to be reminded of the God who loves to provide for his children and the husband who believes in me more than I believe in myself.
Kim’s Gift to You!
A beautiful journal and bookmark. Thank you for loving on our *tiny* community, Kim.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment sharing where you most enjoy reading and/or writing!
Kim Harms is a writer and speaker currently under contract with Familius Publishing for her first book, tentatively titled Life Reconstructed: A Girlfriend’s Guide to Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction. Harms has a degree in English: Literary Studies from Iowa State University and has written for a variety of publications including Today’s Christian Woman, CT Women, Creation Illustrated and Guideposts. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries in 2016 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and writes about her Life Reconstructed at kimharms.net. She can also be found on Instagram @kimharmslifereconstructed and on Facebook. Central Iowa is home, and she lives there with her husband Corey and their three ever-growing man-children.